The word to describe Diana Bahn is bubbly, which is perfect for a cleaning business owner. Her effervescence and sparkles came at me over the phone when we spoke recently about her buying Two Girls Cleaning in Omaha. Her business partner splintered off a construction cleaning crew from the company and Diana created the residential cleaning business from the ground up over the last five years.
Not surprisingly, there are more than two girls that do the cleaning. Diana’s hands are full with word of mouth referrals and she’s got four workers who are handling the cleanings currently. “70% of my clients are referral-based after 5 years. I love my clients! I have more business coming in and I am constantly trying to find new people to add to the team.”
Diana was born in Mexico but immigrated with her parents when she was four years old. “Technically, I’m more American than anything,” she laughed. The family settled in California where they began to build a better life for themselves. How’s this California girl handling the Omaha weather? “I love the four seasons, especially spring and fall which are my absolute favorites. And the bugs die in December!”
She’s a military veteran and met her husband in the Army but left the service once they decided to start a family. “Having both parents in the military is hard on children.” The couple have three sons and their 24-year-old is following in their footsteps and serving in the military as well.
Before building the cleaning business, Diana worked as a bilingual customer service representative for Hyatt and later for a non profit organization. She’s also always been a bit of an entrepreneur, selling everything from water-based vacuums to telecommunications. “I really knew how to sell those vacuums because I had one at home.” Diana had her first sales job at age fifteen, making cold calls for a lawyer to drum up business. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart.”
Cleaning came naturally to her and Diana describes her parents as “neat freaks, meticulous and clean people.” As the oldest daughter, she was raised to take care of all of the cooking and cleaning for the family. She looks back on that early training as a valuable experience that gave her the “spirit of excellence” that she now insists on from her staff.
We used to use quite a few chemicals but moved away from that because it was hazardous to us and to the environment. You wondered why your stomach felt weird or your throat hurt after being around bleach all day. I immediately started looking into what the greenest way to get things clean was.
Green cleaning is an absolute must for Two Girls Cleaning. “We used to use quite a few chemicals but moved away from that because it was hazardous to us and to the environment. You wondered why your stomach felt weird or your throat hurt after being around bleach all day. I immediately started looking into what the greenest way to get things clean was.”
Diana has created her own eco-friendly soft scrub cleaner for showers and tubs. It’s an organic mixture made from borax, baking soda, essential oils, water, and vinegar used to get soap scum and hard water residue off. “I’m looking for what works best and vinegar gets rid of everything. Dawn is my all time favorite—you can use soapy water and vinegar on anything.” Ever the entrepreneur, she continues to tweak her recipe for green cleaners and may find a distributor for her green cleaning products someday. That distributor might also be interested in helping her launch her food product business as well.
Before she pulled the trigger on buying the cleaning business, she’d considered launching her own food line. “I make a mean salsa and a great traditional bean dip that’s been in my family for generations. I’m always asked to bring these to functions.” She still has plans to pursue this secondary business in the future.
The growth of Two Girls Cleaning is something she takes great pride in. “I’ve found my niche and we are constantly growing. It’s taken a lot to get here.” One of the keys to her success has been to customize a checklist for each client’s needs and to note any pet peeves they might have. “I ask them what is the one thing they are really looking for, what is the thing you have a hard time cleaning.” One client really loves to see her hardwood floors immaculately clean and will notice a single dust bunny on the wood floor so her checklist indicates that the floors must be spotless.
Diana believes in giving back to the community and provided free cleaning for the nonprofit that she used to work for— Heartland Hope Mission, the largest food pantry in Omaha. “I was cleaning their offices, conference rooms, and bathrooms until they changed their hours and it didn’t match my schedule any more.”
The gift she gives her clients is just as valuable as the community work she does. “If a client walks into their home and it feels great, smells great, looks great, it alleviates stress. They feel at ease. It’s statistically proven that clean homes reduce stress. I love hearing the reactions of clients coming into their clean homes.”
Take care of them and they’ll take care of you. I learned that over many years. The way you want to be treated is how you should treat others. When everything works great, I’ve done my job with satisfied clients and happy employees.
She prioritizes her clients and workers above everything else. “Take care of them and they’ll take care of you. I learned that over many years. The way you want to be treated is how you should treat others. When everything works great, I’ve done my job with satisfied clients and happy employees.”
Recently, she took her entire crew out for a mani/pedi party. “They’re always on their feet and using their hands. Two of them had never had manicures. Then we went out to lunch and had our scheduled work meeting.”
Running a booming business and raising a family could overwhelm some people, but Diana handles it all with a smile. She’s also very passionate about her church and does fundraising to give school supplies to needy children in town. “There is nothing like seeing a kid light up like a Christmas tree when you give them a backpack and tell them to go around and put supplies in. Even when they find something simple like a pink pencil. When I see them light up, I know I’ve done my work for the day.”
Check out Two Girls Cleaning if you’re looking for an Omaha cleaning service with your best interests at heart.
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